Over the course of my more than 16 years as a Superior Court judicial officer, I have been asked to review numerous attorneys and law firms for social media posts. This is no doubt because the opinion of judges and commissioners is the clearest measure of the effectiveness of a lawyer on behalf of his or her client. As such, unless I know the lawyer well, from numerous interactions, and can confidently represent that they are exceptional, I have declined to write a positive review.
Bob Schwartz, in contrast to most, deserves my highest praise. I have known him for over 20 years, first when I was a senior trial attorney and supervisor with the Public Defender’s Office, and then as a Commissioner, in both a Civil Court, and primarily a Misdemeanor and Felony Court.
Bob has appeared before me in the West District, Airport Courthouse (which encompasses such cities as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, West Hollywood, Westwood and parts of the South Bay) on countless misdemeanor and felony cases, including a civil trial, Preliminary Hearings, and motions to dismiss cases and charges based on 4th Amendment grounds, lack of Speedy Trial and Due Process considerations, to name a few. I have reviewed, considered and ruled on numerous written motions and oral arguments that have without exception been well researched, thoughtful and persuasive.
Although he has not always prevailed, he has on more than one occasion convinced me to dismiss a felony, reduce a felony to a misdemeanor or terminate probation early. He has also prevailed upon me or the prosecution to dismiss a count, or an entire case in the interests of justice; to set aside a conviction or withdraw a guilty plea entered by another attorney; and to expunge a criminal conviction. He has also secured very generous dispositions, including diversions, reductions and little or no jail sentences even on serious felonies.
These favorable outcomes were not as a result of luck or good breaks, but the product of hard work, thorough research and decades of experience. Bob also has a unique ability to humanize his clients in ways that can persuade prosecutors and judges to look beyond his client’s particular conduct on a given occasion and see him or her in a broader and often more favorable light.
As a bench officer, I often talk with my colleagues in formal and informal settings, and have come to learn that my impressions of Mr. Schwartz are shared by all the other judges at Airport Court, and the same is true for my colleagues who preside in the Courthouse Downtown, as well as in Van Nuys, Compton and the South Bay Courthouses.
In March 2019, after 38 years in the criminal justice system, I retired from the bench. I have been decompressing these past few months and reflecting on my career and my future goals and aspirations.
Bob and his partner Garret Weinrieb have asked me to affiliate with then as a consultant and to be “Of Counsel” to their firm. Other lawyers have also approached me with that request, but I have declined. I am inclined to accept this role for them because I am proud to put my name and reputation alongside this exceptional firm.